Updated on 31 December 2012
What are the services that LifeCell offers?
Before I joined the company, LifeCell was a single product company offering only cord blood banking, a service which allows parents to store stem cells extracted from their baby's cord blood at the time of birth. These stem cells are collected immediately after birth and transported to LifeCell's lab within 48-72 hours. The cells are then processed and stored in minus 200 degrees Centigrade in liquid Nitrogen.
Once I was on board, we were able to expand the number of service offerings. We launched add-on services such as umbilical cord tissue banking.
Human blood is extremely rich in hematopoietic stem cells, which play an important role in the regeneration of blood and immune systems for the treatment of blood-related ailments such as leukemia and myeloma. The mesenchyme stem cells extracted from the umbilical cord tissue can be used for muscle and organ regeneration, including that of heart muscles, cartilages, and pancreas among others.
Although the real life use of mesenchyme cells for the treatment of diseases is currently more in its experimental stage, as compared to the use of hematopoietic cells, umbilical cord banking holds massive potential and we are looking into it. LifeCell is also the only company to offer menstrual blood stem cell banking, a service which was introduced in India in 2011.
We have recently launched BabyShield, our new born genetic screening service. Apart from this, we are also working on R&D programs to develop dendritic cell cancer vaccines. The lab work regarding for this is ongoing and we are in the process of building an in-house program for this. We hope to initiate human clinical trials starting next year.
How many people come to you every year to utilize stem cell banking services?
The number of people who store stem cells with us keeps growing year-on-year. The reason for this is the increase in the awareness and penetration of stem cell banking. As of August 2012, we have catered to more than 50,000 customers in the umbilical cord stem cell banking space. Every month over 1,500 new clients bank stem cells with us from across India. Today we have over 100 operating centers and symbolically we opened our 100th center in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in May.